Why I wouldn't buy a Village Marine water maker (again)

Fresh/Waste Water Systems, Watermakers, HVAC, Refrigeration...

Why I wouldn't buy a Village Marine water maker (again)

Postby GeoffSchultz » Mon Mar 14, 2011 5:42 pm

I was just in the process of replacing the RO membranes on my Village Marine (aka Offshore Marine) watermaker and found out that the membranes that they use aren't standard. Their membrane is labeled "SW-2540" which stands for Salt Water 2.5"x40", or that's what I thought. It's the standard nomenclature used for membranes, but guess what, not for them! Their membranes are 38" and come with a 2" extender for use in standard pressure vessels. Unfortunately I have one of their pressure vessels and it only uses 38" membranes. And guess what? Their membranes cost $570 vs the normal $185 price for a 40" membrane!

Well, I said FU and am replacing their pressure vessels with standard pressure vessels. It'll cost me more this time, but next time I'll be ahead.

For just this reason I'd never buy a Village Marine system again. Talk about locking you into expensive proprietary parts! However, I will say that their systems that use 2521 (21") membranes use industry standard parts.

-- Geoff
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Re: Why I wouldn't buy a Village Marine water maker (again)

Postby THATBOATGUY » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:24 pm

Geoff,

If you have not purchased your vessels and membranes drop me a PM and I will hook you up.

George
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Re: Why I wouldn't buy a Village Marine water maker (again)

Postby GeoffSchultz » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:41 pm

Today I purchased new pressure vessels from http://www.CruiseROwaterAndPower.com/ (thanks for the pointer George) who had great prices on vessels. Unfortunately due to the proprietary nature of Village Marine's fittings and hoses, I had to scrap my existing components and get new ones. I went with Swagelok, which while quite expensive, look bulletproof and are available around the world. The only part that I couldn't source was the fitting which screwed into the pump, but I'll have the existing proprietary fitting cut down and tapped to 1/4" NPT into which I can screw the Swagelok fitting.

The following is a picture of the existing pump fitting. I'll cut off the threaded section on the existing piece and have it threaded as a female NPT which will allow the Swagelok fitting (on the right) to be screwed in to it.

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-- Geoff
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Re: Why I wouldn't buy a Village Marine water maker (again)

Postby THATBOATGUY » Thu Mar 17, 2011 6:30 pm

Sounds like a great plan. I was glad that Rich could help you out. That fitting at the pump is most likely straight british pipe thread. I've encountered that before. Why in the world would anyone use that thread in the modern world???? I have a source for stainless fittings in the BPT to NPT department too. If I were at home I'd be able to send you one that's in a bin over my work shelf... but you know how that goes. Let me know if you need the contact info and I'll search my emails.

I went with these lines from Grainger as they were so reasonably priced that I carry spares. I actually screwed up and blew two of them (my mistake) and I was glad I was able to replace them. hose I am using the ones with brass ends although they also come with stainless ends. The flair is stainless so no saltwater is in contact with the brass anyway.

Anyone else finding this by google or otherwise and wants to retrofit a Village watermaker, Rich at CruiseRO is your man. Let me know if you need contact info.

George
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Re: Why I wouldn't buy a Village Marine water maker (again)

Postby Van T » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:41 am

For membranes and other RO equip try these guys: www.americanro.com. They are a Industrial RO supplier. Since they do not have "Marine" in front of thier name, pricing maybe better.
Sell same suff. The fitting you show in the pic looks like BSP. Try Mcmaster.com. They have just about every SS fitting you can think of.

regards,

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Re: Why I wouldn't buy a Village Marine water maker (again)

Postby GeoffSchultz » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:31 pm

Much to my surprise the part on the left in the picture was made out of Titanium, as is the rest of the pump. Guess what, you can't weld Titanium! Luckily I was able to get a new fitting in San Diego (for just $75) and I scrapped the $15 SS part, so this little exercise cost me about $100. I then spent $160 in fittings to convert my existing hoses to 1/4 NPT fittings and then I was up and running and making 38 GPH.

I will say that I was less than impressed with the pressure vessels from Cruise RO as they're very difficult to get wrenches on. The Village Marine were much nicer. I also had to sand down an internal edge in each of the vessels that kept folding the pressure end o-ring over. Given the chance again, I'd look for another supplier.

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